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Archive for March 13th, 2013

Marghera, Venice Installs Audio Warning System with Community Loudspeakers

Sound systems are normally associated with venues or sites, but occasionally for public safety this can expand to a need for a system which covers whole cities and regions. Such is the case with Marghera City, in the province of Venice, Italy, which has recently had an audio warning system installed utilizing Community loudspeakers.

Marghera is situated on the area of dry land facing Venice. It arose in its present form in the early 20th century to provide Venice with an industrial area and port, essential for competing with the other centers of the Mediterranean. The project was crowned by the building of a residential district inspired by the city-garden model, to merge life, work and the natural environment.

Port Marghera was bombed in World War II which stopped its operation, but after the war it resumed activities and development throughout the 1950’s to become one of the best known industrial hubs of Italy. In the 1960’s it experienced its greatest expansion, reaching an impressive number of production activities including chemical and aluminum, naval shipyard, petroleum refinery, metallurgy, electricity and the commerce of petroleum products.

The proximity of the industrial port Marghera to the residential Marghera City has been a subject of concern and even legal action for decades. Inside the industrial facility there are different types of warnings and alarms, both acoustic and non-acoustic, for employees and visitors in the event of any problem, typically the leakage of toxic and harmful chemical material from the processing and storage plants. The Servizio di Protezione Civile of the City of Venice has now wisely implemented the provision of an acoustic alarm system for the residents of the neighboring city, to warn them quickly of toxic pollutants in the air and allow residents and the relevant authorities to operate pre-planned actions and counter-measures

The Consorzio Venezia Ricerche (CVR, Venice Research Consortium) was charged with the design of the system and defining and managing the various installation stages. Having recently completed the large scale audio warning system that forms part of the flood defense system for Venice, all of the experience the project would demand was available to tackle the new project. The CVR established a Marghera Acoustical Warning System Task Force, consisting of internal staff and specialized professionals. The installation was managed by Sofitel from Treviso, while the acoustic simulation activities were carried out in full within the CVR. The Task Force included Marco Ferrari for the architecture of the communication system and Gianluca Sorbara for the electrical aspects, coordinated by the acoustic and electro-acoustic expert Umberto Nicolao, who also managed the overall design.

The system designed by Nicolao utilized the water tower of Marghera, one of the highest buildings available, as a central ‘acoustic lighthouse’. The tower is fitted with thirty Community PC1542M loudspeakers with M4 drivers, covering a precise 220 degrees horizontal. Critical coverage angles were calculated and implemented to avoid nearby ‘Cita skyscrapers’ from excessive SPL. In addition to the central tower, and to create an acoustic umbrella of typically higher than 75 dB-A over the city, Nicolao designed five additional sub-locations each using four Community RSH462 loudspeakers.

A Biamp Vocia system VA8600 system controls the audio network and automated monitoring, while AM600C power modules drive the Community loudspeaker systems.

Building on and adapting the extensive acoustic transmission and perception work carried out on the Venice system, the warning tones of the system have been finely tuned to give appropriate warnings without creating undue alarm.

The sophisticated warning system combined with the appropriate counter-measures has given the residents of Marghera City the level of security they have sought for many decades.

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Related Topics: Loudspeakers, Security |

Community Delivers the Sound for Singapore’s First Olympic-Size Ice Rink

Electronics & Engineering (E&E) has recently completed the installation of a Community sound system at Singapore’s first Olympic-size ice rink at JCube.

Owned by CapitaMall Trust, JCube is located out of town in Jurong East. Managed by CapitaMall Asia, JCube differentiates itself from the usual shopping and dining mall experience with the ice rink in the center of the building. The 60 x 30 meter rink has a 460-seat gallery and can be used simply for community skating, or for more competitive sporting events including speed or figure skating and ice hockey. It can also host live streaming events and concerts in the space.

The sound system at JCube rink provides both high intelligibility speech and entertainment quality music, and additionally allows for the multi-use requirements of the venue. To meet the specifications of the rinks management, E&E worked closely with Community’s Singapore-based Director of Business Development, Thomas Mittelmann, who liaised with the technical team at Community’s HQ in the US.

Seventeen Community WET W2-2W8 loudspeakers are mounted around the rink edge. The W2-2W8’s dual 8-inch horizontal drivers with centrally located 1-inch horn provide the optimum 120-degree wide horizontal dispersion required for the venue. Additionally the W2-2W8’s extreme all-weather capabilities handle the environmental conditions of the rink and its provision in white ensured the loudspeakers blended perfectly with the venue’s aesthetics.

In addition to the distributed W2-2W8 system, the audio design includes a ceiling loudspeaker system for the audience areas. The upper spectator stand comprises thirteen Community D8 8-inch coaxial ceiling loudspeakers. The D8 loudspeakers deliver consistent coverage with their Tru-Phase high frequency waveguide providing a wide uniform dispersion. In the lower stand there are thirteen Community D6 ceiling loudspeakers, providing the same consistent quality as their larger sibling, but equipped with a 6.5-inch low frequency driver. A further ten Community D4 ceiling loudspeakers and four Community DS8 surface mount loudspeakers are installed at back of house.

Five Ashly Audio NE2400 2-channel amplifiers power the Community loudspeakers. The network enabled amplifiers feature full control and monitoring capabilities via standard 10/100 Ethernet protocol and Protea software. An Ashly Audio NE4250 amplifier powers the back of house system.

Processing is provided by a Symetrix Symnet 8×8 digital signal processor, supplied with SymNet Designer software which equips the rink with more than 300 DSP modules, including feedback elimination, loudspeaker management and auto mixing. The built-in modules enable the audio engineer at the rink to switch quickly and easily from one processing mode to another depending on the function of the rink at any given time.

Completing the audio system are a Mackie 1642-VLZ3 I6-channel compact recording mixer and Shure SLX24/SM58 handheld wireless microphones for concert type events.

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Related Topics: Loudspeakers, News, Video |

Advanced Systems Group Welcomes Tim Mundorff to Professional Services Department

EMERYVILLE, CALIF. – Advanced Systems Group (ASG), a leading West Coast video and film integration firm, today announced that veteran industry engineer Tim Mundorff joined the company’s Professional Services department, effective Jan. 14. He will focus on design services and engineering.

Mundorff has more than 20 years of engineering experience. Most recently, he served as a senior systems engineer for Sony PSA Solutions Engineering, where he developed a space and cost efficient central file management and applications system as well as systems design for dual projector 3D solutions for multi-cinema complexes. He has also worked as senior systems engineer for Radium/Reel FX Studios in California, project engineer at Ascent Media Systems and Technology Services, and senior proposal engineer at Sony Systems Integration.

“We are very pleased to welcome Tim to our Professional Services team,” said Dave Van Hoy, president, Advanced Systems Group. “He has extensive experience in systems engineering across a variety of professional AV applications, and is a valuable asset for our customers.”

Mundorff is based in the company’s main office in Emeryville. Contact him at (510) 654-8300 or via e-mail at tsm@asgllc.com.

About ASG:

Advanced Systems Group LLC of Emeryville, Calif., with offices in the Bay Area and Southern California, has provided engineering, systems, integration, support and training to the broadcast, film, creative, and corporate video markets since 1997. With unmatched experience in Apple-based newsroom systems, shared storage, archiving, editing, finishing, and VFX systems, ASG has become one of largest installers of post production and shared storage systems on the West Coast. The ASG team is highly focused on customer success, and has installed and supported more than 185 SANs, production, and post production systems over the last six years. For more information, visit www.asgllc.com or call 510-654-8300.

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Producer/DJ Keith Shocklee Praises Comfort And Quality Of HARMAN’s AKG K702 Headphones During Long Studio Hours

VIENNA, Austria – For decades, original member of Public Enemy’s (inductees to the 2013 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame) production team The Bomb Squad, producer and DJ Keith Shocklee has spent countless hours in studios perfecting his own and fellow musicians’ sounds. With a new home studio currently being constructed, Shocklee has taken his mixing mobile – whether on the road or in his living room. Paired with his HARMAN AKG K702 headphones, Shocklee receives true response from his tracks with complete comfort even after hours of wear.

“From the cool factor to the comfort, K702’s truly match the sound of my JBL monitors, so I can produce and mix directly from the headphones,” said Shocklee. “With the K702’s, I can hear all of the compression from new records today and their lack of dynamics. I always knew it was there, but I never had a headphone that brought that to life.”

Currently, Shocklee’s latest project – an EP mix of hip-hop and electronic – is being produced through AKG’s K702 headphones. The album takes the “Spectrum City” sound concept Shocklee and fellow Public Enemy founder Chuck D created in a college radio station in Long Island in the 80’s and revamps it, adding guest vocals and sampling from some of Shocklee’s original music.
“The K702’s are simply lighter; very light in fact. The band adjusts to my head naturally and the only thing you can ask more of a headphone set is they sound amazing. They do; it’s the perfect headphone. I can work for six, eight, ten hours and there is absolutely no ear fatigue,” Shocklee continued.

“I’ve always been a fan of AKG – they are the original studio headphones to me. When we first got into the business, all everyone had was AKG,” according to Shocklee. “K702’s step up the headphone game. You can even master on them, which is incredible. They let you hear exactly what’s missing.”

For more information about AKG, please visit http://www.akg.com and http://www.youtube.com/AKGacoustics.

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets — supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 13,400 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported net sales of $4.4 billion for year ended June 30, 2012.

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Soundgarden Takes Elidy LEDs and grandMA2 on its King Animal Tour

Seattle-based rock band Soundgarden’s new King Animal Tour has hit the road with Chromlech Elidy LEDs – the first tour to use the fixtures – and a grandMA2 console supplied by Upstsaging. A.C.T lighting is the distributor of Chromlech Elidy fixtures and the MA products in North America.

The national tour is in support of the rockers’ sixth studio album, also called “King Animal,” which was released last November. Their first engagement played Washington, D.C.’s D.A.R. Constitution Hall in January.

“We designed a show very specific to a theater space,” says Justin Collie, production designer with PEDG. “The tour is a high-tech ‘old school’ theater production. We used 60 of the S panels, arrayed as truss fascia. We selected them for the novelty of the fixture and because they fit in very well in terms of the color temperature. They feel like an old-school lamp but have an ultra-modern effect. They give a nice warm tungsten color temperature, and you cab map media servers to them. It’s very easy to get effects, and we can make specific QuickTime Movies to get very precise effects.”

French-made Chromlech Elidy fixtures are the world’s first LED matrixes capable of projecting volumetric graphics. They combine high-output, calibrated, warm white LEDs with specific optics to generate extremely narrow beams that far exceed the intensity of LED screens. Elidy fixtures are also decorative items that can blend easily into scenery, backgrounds and décor by using a wide range of accessories, including unique new customized covers. These covers are attached either magnetically or as a snap-on and change the panels’ appearance to take on different colors and textures, including wood, metal, mirror, leather, stone and even grass.

Lighting designer Kille Knobel configured the Elidys in three large rectangular panels rigged “like a roof” with two horizontal and one vertical. “I saw a demo online and thought they looked really beautiful,” she recalls. “I’m a huge fan of tungsten fixtures, and these really had a true tungsten feel about them for an LED. Also, I could pixel map them as well as use them as a light source. They’ve got a beautiful look, and we’ve gotten some really good effects out of them.”

Knobel says once she tracked down the still new Elidy fixtures, “A.C.T Lighting and Upstaging worked tirelessly with us to make sure we could use them on this tour. I like them a lot!”

Adds Collie, “They’re working great – they’re very effective and very flexible.”

The King Animal Tour marks Knobel’s first time using a grandMA2, as well. “It’s an incredibly powerful console with a level of flexibility and user-definable options that outpace other desks,” she says. “The sheer creativity and the power of the console really drove me to use it.” Jason Baeri is the grandMA2 programmer for the Soundgarden tour.

About A.C.T Lighting

A leading importer and distributor of lighting products, A.C.T Lighting, Inc. strives to identify future trends and cutting-edge products, and stock, sell and support their inventory. The company provides superior customer service and value for money to all of its clients.

For more information call 818-707-0884.

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The Band The xx Joins DPA Microphones d:facto™ Vocal Mic Fan Club

Award-winning band The xx has bought two DPA d:facto™ II Vocal Microphones after being impressed by their audio quality and ability to deliver an incredibly natural sound during a recent tour of the US.

The band, which comprises Oliver Sim, Romy Madley-Croft and Jamie Smith, won the 2010 Mercury Music Prize for their debut album xx. They were introduced to DPA’s d:facto Vocal Microphones by their live sound engineer Rik Dowding who was keen to find an alternative to the microphones Oliver and Romy had been using.

“One of the most important things about working with this band is the translation of the very intimate, late night vocals of the albums to a live situation,” Dowding says. “Higher mic gains introduce unwanted stage noise into the microphones, especially in smaller venues. In order to get that ‘in your face’, yet delicate sound, I needed a mic that had great feedback rejection. In truth, I’d been looking to improve our microphone choice for some time.”

Dowding’s solution was to hold a microphone shoot-out to see what else might work. His monitor engineer, Craig Donaldson, recommended including the new DPA d:facto vocal microphone after reading an article about them in the trade press.

“DPA has a great reputation for audio quality so we were interested to see what this new vocal microphone was capable of,” Dowding says. DPA’s UK distributor Sound Network was happy to supply a demo unit and the battle began.

“It was immediately obvious that the d:facto was the best microphone on show, especially for Romy who has a very warm, breathy and distinctive voice with some sibilance,” Dowding says. “To deal with that we needed a microphone that could deliver exceptional audio clarity, yet not display the usual Rock n’ Roll coloured sound associated with proximity effect and artificial high mid boosting. The d:facto was perfect – in fact Romy noticed the difference immediately, noting how much clearer her voice sounded when she heard it through her in-ear monitors. It was also noticeable to me how good the mic’s feedback rejection was.”

The DPA d:facto Vocal Microphone was tested even more thoroughly at a pre-US tour gig at Brixton Academy, London, and once again it performed flawlessly.

“At that point we decided to use it for Oliver’s vocals as well because we were so pleased with the sound we were getting,” Dowding says.

The xx toured the US with d;facto vocal microphones and are using them on the next leg of their tour which takes place in Australia. They also used them for a gig at Abbey Road Studios where they were recorded for a live session on Absolute Radio.

“There is no doubt that the d:facto Vocal Microphone does take a while to get used to because it doesn’t colour the sound and has a flat response,” Dowding adds. “But once you realise how good it is in dealing with proximity effect, and how much clarity it delivers, you quickly become a convert. Add to that the ability to use it with most wireless systems without compromise and you have a very powerful package.”

-ends-

Editors’ information:

DPA Microphones is the leading Danish Professional Audio manufacturer of high quality condenser microphones and microphone solutions for professional applications in studio, broadcast, theatre, video/film and sound reinforcement environments. All DPA microphones and components are manufactured at the company’s purpose-built factory in Denmark.
For more information on DPA Microphones, please visit www.dpamicrophones.com

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